“Christian” Ideas that Aren’t (3)
1. “I’m more of a New Testament Christian.”
2. “The Old Testament is legalistic and about law; the New Testament is about love and grace.
3. “God helps those who help themselves”
Astonishingly, survey after survey show that many Christians (or at least churched-people) believe this is a verse in the Bible!
Actually, it comes from the Deist Ben Franklin. Ironically, as a Deist who believed that God is far away and basically uninterested in us after he got the world going at creation, Franklin would likely be chagrined to find his material thought of a biblical scripture!
If we believe we can, and wish to do so, God will allow us to help ourselves. The Bible calls this sin or idolatry – the “You aren’t the boss of me” attitude. And far from securing God’s help, it places us in peril, mortal peril.
The truth is that we can do nothing to help ourselves. We were never intended to live by ourselves, for ourselves, and through our own strength or wisdom. We were always to live by God’s life in us. Therefore, a biblical rendition of this statement would be its exact opposite: God helps those who cannot, and know they cannot, help themselves.